VATICAN CITY, JUNE 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II reminded Christians that authentic prayer is not just a petition addressed to God but also an act of praise and thanksgiving.
The Pope explained this at the weekly general audience when commenting on the canticle of Chapter 15 of the Book of Revelation, a “hymn of adoration,” before 8,000 pilgrims gathered today in Paul VI Hall.
“Authentic prayer is not only a petition but also praise, thanksgiving, blessing, celebration and profession of faith in the Lord who saves,” he said.
For this reason, every prayer in a certain sense expresses the hopes and desires of the whole of humanity, the Holy Father said.
In prayer, John Paul II indicated, “our gaze is extended to the whole horizon and one perceives rivers of people who converge toward the Lord to recognize his ‘just judgments,’ namely, his interventions in history to defeat the evil and praise the good.”
“The search for justice present in all cultures, the need for truth and love perceived in all spirituality, contain a tendency toward the Lord, which is only satisfied when he is found,” the Pope continued.
“It is beautiful to think of this universal air of religiosity and hope, assumed and interpreted by the words of the prophets,” he added.
By way of example, the Pope quoted Malachi 1:11, who puts these words in God’s mouth: “For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations.”
The Holy Father was continuing his series of meditations on vespers, the evening prayer of the Church, which is also based on biblical compositions. Previous meditations may be read in the Wednesday’s Audience section of ZENIT’s Web page.